Forum For Change 2016
In April 2016 at the United Nations, the second Annual Conference was held for an audience of 200. This second Forum aimed to build off of the common ground identified the previous year by addressing the racial disparities and injustices faced across the West and finding a way to preserve, protect, and expand spaces for co-existence in the face of Islamophobia and Islamic extremism. In doing so, the Forum explored the issue of America’s responsibilities and priorities in the Middle East and held a discussion lead by artists on broad issues that gave an insight into how brilliant minds see the world, enlarging the points of view of those in attendance.
Faria Abedin & Greg Brennan
Sajid and Simin Syed
Muslim Community Network - Bronze Sponsor
Islamic Relief USA - Bronze Sponsor
9:00am – 9:30am
9:30am – 9:45am
9:45am - 10:45am
12:15pm – 2:00pm
1:00pm – 1:30pm
2:15pm – 3:15pm
3:30pm – 4:30pm
4:45pm – 5:30pm
Muddassar Ahmed, President and co-Founder, the Concordia Forum
Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, Ambassador of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations
Panel I - “Race and The Race: America in 2016”
Racial disparities and racial injustice are real. What we intend to provoke, instead, is a serious debate over how to address these realities, whether through direct action or political engagement, from the left or from the right, by tackling culture and attitudes or economic policies and practices.
Nina Smith, Communications Director, Young Invincibles
Gina Belafonte, Co-Director, Sankofa.org
Sayu Bhojwani, Founder and President, The New American Leaders Project
Moderator: Adnan Zulfiqar, University of Pennsylvania
Panel II - “How To Save the Gray Zone”
How to preserve, protect and extend spaces for co-existence in the face of Islamophobia and Islamic extremism, which threatens the very basis of American and Western Muslim identity. What can we do to counter what appears to be a rising tide of intolerance and suspicion?
Dean Obeidallah, Host, The Dean Obeidallah Show, SiriusXM Radio
Hisham Aidi, Professor, International Relations, Columbia University
Hoda Hawa, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Muslim Public Affairs Council
Dani Laurence, Founder, I Am Your Protector
Moderator: Murtaza Hussein, Journalist, The Intercept
Lunch and networking
Panel III - "Red Lines and Green Lines"
Join leading public intellectuals and analysts for a thoughtful conversation about America's responsibilities and priorities in the Middle East and the Muslim world, and how escalating tensions affect U.S.-Muslim world relations.
Jennifer Williams, Deputy Foreign Editor, vox.com
Alaa Murabit, Global SDG Advocate & UN High Level Commissioner
Bobby Ghosh, Editor-at-large, Quartz
Jeet Heer, Senior Editor, The New Republic
Haris Tarin, Senior Advisor, US Department of Homeland Security
Moderator: Mehdi Hasan, Presenter, Al Jazeera English
Panel IV - "The Art of the Matter"
Brought to you by the El Hibri Foundation
We've invited five artists (comedians, playwrights, actors and filmmakers) to give us their thoughts on a topic of broad concern--in any format they see fit. Music, dance, sculpture, film, comedy. It's a unique chance to see how brilliant minds see the world, and enlarge our point of view.
Inclusion - Aizzah Fatima, Playwright (Dirty Paki Lingerie) and actress
Islamophobia - Wajahat Ali, Journalist and playwright (The Domestic Crusaders)
Extremism - Faran Tahir, Actor (Iron Man, Charlie Wilson's War)
Donald Trump - Hasan Minhaj, Comedian (The Daily Show) and playwright (Homecoming King)
Hope - Rohina Malik, Playwright (Yasmina's Necklace, Unveiled)
Moderator: Debbie Almontaser, Chair, Forum for Change Host Committee
Closing Remarks and Keynote Address
Following reflections and summaries by Concordia Forum alumni, a keynote speech will be delivered by Richard Stengel, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
Introduction by Dr. Mischa Thompson, Policy Advisor, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission).